Holacracy is about empowering individual responsibility
What does holacracy mean?
The term holacracy underwent a very interesting evolution. Before Brian Robertson defined this concept, in 1967 Arthur Koestler coined a very similar one: ‘holarchy as the organizational connections between holons (from the Greek word for “whole”), which describes units that act independently but would not exist without the organization they operate within.’ HolacracyOne was founded in 2007, and from that moment on various companies decided to adopt this type of management system.
But what do we mean by holacracy and what type of hierarchy does it involve? It is considered a ‘system of corporate governance’ where all team members have more than one role using a highly flexible approach. They can switch between different teams and projects based upon their interchangeable skills that can improve the agility and efficiency of the processes. We are dealing with a very peculiar ‘flat organizational structure where all workers have an equal voice while simultaneously answering to the direction of shared authority.’
What is the framework?
According to HolacracyOne, this type of approach can offer a ‘concrete framework for encoding autonomy, agility, and purpose-alignment into your organization’s DNA’. Here are the main principles that define a holacratic organization:
- A different power shift
- A new definition of roles
- A governance process for each team
- Radical autonomy and effective alignment with organizational goals
- Customization of internal processes
- Flat organization structure
Can holacracy be adopted by every type of company? The keynote speaker and author of The Future of Work Jacob Morgan stated that holacracy ‘can be more viable for smaller or medium size organizations or perhaps larger organizations that have started off with holacracy as their base operating model. […] Holacracy is still very much an emerging structure with a lot of inserting concepts but we still need more case studies and examples over a longer period of time.’ An adequate adoption and implementation of this new type of leadership have to take into account the size and the needs of a company.
Find out if your company is truly ‘Ready for Holacracy’ by taking into consideration some indicators and answering the following questions:
- How evolved is your company culture and is it ready to adopt a whole new type of mindset?
- Holacracy is all about individual responsibility. Do you think that the level of trust is high enough?
- Can your company become a more transparent one, where everyone shares the same values and works towards a common goal?
- Are you ready for the transfer of power considering the high level of responsibility?
- Holacracy is distinguished by a start-up mindset. Are you willing to adopt this approach?
If you start answering the above questions you can understand if your company is prepared to embrace at least one of the features of holacracy. Stay tuned and read our latest blog posts!